Back in August, the Focused Ultrasound Foundation team became aware of a severe outbreak of COVID-19 within the Cedars Healthcare Center, which is a long-term care facility located directly adjacent to Foundation offices.
The Foundation began a fundraising drive with the goal of providing immediate comfort and support to the residents and staff during the worst of their lockdown period. By the end of August, team donations netted more than $10,000, which was then was generously matched by an anonymous donor, bringing the total to just over $20,000.
Margaret Thacker, the recreation director at the Cedars, provided the Foundation with a wish list of items that residents were unable to purchase for themselves, and the Foundation team set to work fulfilling the list. It began with basic items, such as meals, games, books, and puzzles. Throughout the fall the Foundation continued to work through the list, providing additional items, such as birdfeeders and seed, electronics, ice cream, pizza, and much more.
As the holidays approached, Foundation staff discussed how to best ensure that the residents would be able to enjoy the season during such a difficult time, where many would be without family visits and gift deliveries. Margaret presented the Foundation with the perfect solution: The residents would each compile individual “Santa’s wish lists.” Fifty-two residents provided the Foundation with a wide variety of gift ideas, ranging from snack foods and toiletries to clothing, books, and electronic devices, such as televisions and CD players for their rooms.
The Foundation team, led by Michelle Majorin and Lauren Lucey, immediately created a master spreadsheet, accessible to the entire team so all could pitch in to begin purchasing the items the residents had requested. The original intent was to use the remaining money from the August fund drive to cover the cost of the gifts, but once again, the generosity of the team shone through. Many team members and their families signed up to help without any desire for reimbursement. Some even fulfilled entire lists for individual residents. Foundation staff unable to help directly with the procurement instead made additional donations to support completion of all the lists. Greeting cards were colored, homemade cookies were dropped off, and day by day, the Foundation’s large conference room filled to the point of bursting.
When the gifts were delivered on December 15, Foundation staff were met by a delighted and grateful group from the Cedars. Tears were in their eyes as they said that this Christmas would be unlike any they have ever celebrated.
This giving spirit will not end with the holiday season but will continue into next year. The Foundation plans to install raised gardening beds in the spring, as well as provide an upgrade to the sound system in the main dining room of the Cedars.
The Foundation’s mission to help people is present in the work we do every day – and, just as importantly – in the charitable projects we have taken on to help those less fortunate in our community since the beginning of the pandemic.
The Focused Ultrasound Foundation Raised $20,000 for Gifts | CBS19
Cedars Healthcare Center Receives More Than $20K in Gifts | NBC29
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